Western elite among Royal Society Fellows

Four Western scholars, and one alumna, have been named among the new Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). They have been elected by their peers in recognition of outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievement. Election to the academies of the RSC is the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences.

Founded in 1882, the RSC comprises the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada. Its mission is to recognize scholarly, research and artistic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada and with other national academies around the world. Western now has a total of 68 Fellows, starting with Microbiology and Biochemistry professor Robert Murray in 1958.

There are more than 2,000 Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peer-elected as the best in their field. The fellowship of the RSC comprises distinguished men and women from all branches of learning who have made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life.

While the early fellowship was drawn primarily from Quebec and Ontario, today its geographic reach has expanded to include scholars and artists drawn from every region of Canada.

The Royal Society of Canada also announced the recipients of the College of New Scholars today.

Western newest Fellows, who will be inducted during ceremonies on Nov. 16 in Halifax, N.S., include:

Pratima Bansal
Ivey Business School

Pratima (Tima) Bansal is a pre-eminent, globally known scholar of business sustainability. Her pioneering scholarship and extensive publication record helped establish the field of business sustainability. She is among the most cited scholars in the field and has received some of the highest international honours from her peers. Not only is she deeply committed to advancing sustainability research, she is also committed to impacting business practice through research, thereby contributing to the social and environmental prosperity of future generations.

Lars Konermann

Lars Konermann is an international leader in the area of mass spectrometry, with a research focus on the role of proteins in health and disease. His work has helped catalyze the transformation of mass spectrometry from a simple ‘mass’ measurement tool to a comprehensive suite of techniques for interrogating protein structure, function, folding, dynamics, binding, and aggregation. Konermann’s advances have been recognized through a number of prestigious national research awards.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a psychologist specializing in issues affecting children and youth. He has pioneered new approaches to preventing many societal youth problems such as child abuse, bullying, relationship violence and substance abuse through universal education programs. His Fourth R program is taught in more than 5,000 schools in Canada and the U.S., and has been identified as a promising violence prevention strategy by numerous reviews of evidence-based programs for youth.

Catherine Ross
Information and Media Studies

Catherine Ross’s research on readers’ experiences in choosing and reacting to books led to widely read, translated and reprinted publications. Her workshops and speeches have generated international changes in the way librarians develop collections and interview and advise their patrons. An educational innovator, Ross developed and directed a new academic faculty where graduate and undergraduate students can blend – as she does – traditional academic work with interdisciplinary experiments in communication.

Bonnie Schmidt, BSc’86, PhD’93
Let’s Talk Science
Specially Elected Fellow

Bonnie Schmidt, BSc’86, PhD’93, the founder of Let’s Talk Science, is a pioneer in science education for Canadian school children and teachers. Due to her drive and exceptional dedication, the initiative she started as a graduate student at Western, more than 20 years ago, is now a multi-dimensional national program, providing over six million Canadian children, regardless of gender, race or social standing, the opportunity to develop their skills in problem solving and critical thinking.